EE has been left without an executive to run its enterprise wing after Martin Stiven, vice president of business, left the company ‘to explore new opportunities’.
The operator said it has no immediate plans to replace Stiven. It marks the end of his four-year stint at the operator, during which he oversaw the merger and restructure of the b2b divisions at Orange and T-Mobile into one single EE unit. He was also responsible for sales, marketing, strategy and operations for its b2b division.
Stiven joined Orange in November 2009 from rival O2, where he had been head of corporate account management. A spokesman said: ‘Under Martin’s leadership our b2b business has performed strongly, both in terms of market share and profitability, and we would like to thank him for his considerable contribution to the business and wish him well for the future.’
Some dealers speculated this week that Stiven’s departure is linked to the ongoing dealer payment problems that have dogged EE’s b2b department for the past six months. The payment problems, which arose in October last year, were triggered by software glitches which hit EE’s payment system after it transferred Orange dealer payments to the T-Mobile payment platform.
The move resulted in a torrent of incorrect and delayed commission payments, causing an outcry among dealers. Last month, as dealers complaints became more vociferous and calls were made for compensation, EE announced it would pay all its Orange and T-Mobile dealers three months of commissions in advance to cover any delayed or incorrect payments made between January and March this year.
Dealers said this week the payment problems are easing as EE works its way through the backlog. One said: ‘EE has made a lot of effort to solve the problem but I did hear that heads have rolled because of it.’
However, another said: ‘I can’t imagine Martin Stiven was connected to this. He was a good guy. This is an IT problem that was further down the food chain. He was considered very effective and had certainly delivered on his indirect targets.’
Meanwhile, EE dealers continued to question EE’s plans for the Orange and T-Mobile brands this week after it emerged the operator is taking the Orange logo off its corporate products and services. Corporate customers have been contacted this week alerting them to the changes. The Orange b2b internet portal, voicemail, billing and text message services will all be rebadged with the EE logo this month.
One Orange dealer said: ‘I believe they are definitely winding down the Orange and T-Mobile brand. They have already cut the upgrade on Orange products and taken money out of Orange deals to bring them more in line with EE products and now this. It is all pointing to the same thing.’
Author: Carol Millett